Ainge: 'We can be scary'

Tennessee's quarterbacks threw for more than 400 yards in Saturday's first full-scale scrimmage of the preseason, and sophomore Erik Ainge thinks that may be a preview of things to come.

"I think we'll throw more than we did last year, with the growth at the quarterback position," he said moments after completing 11 of 17 passes for 130 yards.

Obviously, Ainge and Rick Clausen have a better grasp of the passing game after splitting playing time in 2004. Another factor that could produce more passing in 2005 is the absence of a proven backup tailback behind Gerald Riggs. Ainge says the Vols have plenty of quality candidates, however.

"We have to pick four out of about six," he said, referring to Riggs, Arian Foster, Ja'Kouri Williams, LaMarcus Coker and Montario Hardesty. "And I think they're all doing a very good job."

Yet another factor that could cause UT to throw more this fall is a glut of talent at receiver. Robert Meachem, Chris Hannon, Jayson Swain, C.J. Fayton and Bret Smith are proven players. Smith was the only one who saw significant action Saturday but he responded with six catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

Freshman wideouts Josh Briscoe (6 catches, 99 yards) and Lucas Taylor (4 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD) showed they are ready to contribute, as well.

Asked for his impressions on Saturday's offensive output, Ainge smiled and replied:

"We can be pretty good when we keep the ball in the offense's hands. We can be scary."

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